U-INPD system, Pure Blind region. On the 18th of March at 22:30 EVE Standard Time, Imperium and allied forces clashed once more over a series of sovereignty timers, culminating in a major engagement that spilled into neighbouring systems.
The battle was prompted by a series of timers created by allied forces, including the first station timer for the C8-CHY system in the Fade region. Both sides were expecting a major fight and geared up accordingly.
The allies gathered 3 fleets; A joint Northern Coalition. [NC]\Pandemic Legion [-10.0]\ The-Culture [-T C-] Proteus strategic cruiser fleet, a Low Sec Voltron (LSV) Cerberus heavy assault cruiser fleet and a League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY] Gila cruiser fleet. All told the allies had approximately 400 pilots.
The Proteus fleet made its way to the U-INPD system, where intelligence pointed to an Imperium Machariel battleship fleet camping the gate, presumably to halt the allies’ advance. With information of other Imperium fleets forming and converging on the system, including a super capital wing, the allies decided to engage the Imperium head on regardless.
Reaching the DO6H-Q system in the Fade region, the Proteus fleet jumped into the U-INPD system and straight into the Machariel fleet which was situated near the gate, starting the fight immediately.
The first fire exchanges saw the two fleets trade evenly, as mainline ships on both sides were simply volleyed off by the immense firepower possessed by both fleets. However with the Proteus fleet anchoring up and swarming the Machariels, joined by the Gila and Cerberus fleets, the pressure exerted by all three was enough to break the Machariel fleet.
Losses began to mount on the Imperium’s side, as mainline ships caved in one after the other to the onslaught, its logistics wing unable to cope with the amount of damage hurled at the fleet. The Imperium tried to counter this by first bringing in its super capital armada, landing nearly 90 titans, supercarriers and carriers on the grid at a perch above the gate.
However, the swarm of fighters took time to cover the distance between the super capitals and the brawling fleets. This time was used by the allies to continue to destroy battleships, who were felled at a growing rate as the three allied fleets hammered them on.
Finally arriving to the maelstrom, the fighters proceeded to rip apart strategic cruisers adding their firepower to the remaining Machariels. Realizing they could not tank the incoming damage and with reports of Imperium reinforcement fleets closing in, the allied Proteus fleet commanders decided to disengage and had the fleet burn towards the DO6H-Q gate and clear its aggression timer while the Cerberus and Gila fleets simply burnt away from the range of the Imperium force and exited via another route.
Once aggression timers expired, the fleet quickly jumped out, encountering the Imperium Hurricane battlecruiser fleet on the other side. After a quick exchange of fire, the Proteus fleet was able to warp out as the Machariel fleet jumped into the system as well.
With reports of the out gate bubbled, the Proteus fleet had no choice but to warp to a perch above the P-33KR gate. This was the opportunity Imperium forces were looking for. Quickly, tacklers warped to the still landing allied fleet and bubbled it, holding it in place.
As this was going on, Imperium fleets quickly converged on the DO6H-Q system, jumping in and warping to the P-33KR gate and the allied Proteus fleets. Among the Imperium fleets present were a Jackdaw tactical destroyer fleet, a Cerberus fleet, the aforementioned Hurricane fleet, a Tempest battleship fleet and a Proteus fleet as well. The Machariel fleet was also present, so too was a Rupture cruiser fleet. At this point the Imperium had approximately 700 pilots in the system, while the allies were down to less than 200.
With no choice but to fight it out, the allied Proteus fleet started burning away from the fleet, all the while exchanging fire with the increasing Imperium forces that were chasing it. A long and arduous battle commenced, as the dwindling number of strategic cruisers continued to trade blows with the Imperium force. However, the Imperium forces continued to pile in as the allies lost more ships, rapidly decreasing their ability to fight the growing number of hostile ships.
One of the many casualties of the fight was the allied fleet’s logistics wing, which took a severe beating. Having to bear the pressure of so many fleets and being targeted as well by the Rupture fleet, it didn’t take long for Oneiros logistics cruisers to simply explode.
With the logistics wing in tatters, the strategic cruisers had no chance to tank the incoming damage. In rapid succession, the Imperium was able to destroy a large chunk of the fleet. The Allies changed their primary targets to the Imperium tackle and were finally able to give themselves a window to warp out to the gate. Once they hit the gate, the order was simple: Jump in and log off. Strategic cruisers simply jumped into the P-33KR system before warping off the gate and bouncing between celestials, waiting for their aggression timers to run out so their pilots could safely log off.
However some of the fleeing allied ships had the misfortune of being teleported away from the gate, thanks to the effort of Imperium command destroyers, adding to the death toll as the defenseless ships were destroyed by the swarm of Imperium defenders.
With most of the surviving allied strategic cruisers making it to the P-33KR system and logging off, Imperium forces finished clearing the field before standing down, having won the battlefield.
Yet, as the battle was raging, Pandemic Horde [REKTD] took advantage of the chaos and managed to capture all the commande nodes for the C8-CHY station freeporting it marking another milestone in the allied campaign and an strategic loss for the Imperium.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Allied Joint Proteus Fleet
Battle report for the U-INPD and DO6H-Q systems can be found here.
The battle lasted 80 minutes, with Time Dilation being ever present, reaching and maintaining 10% for the majority of the fight. Though numbers fluctuated between systems, it is believed that more than 1000 players were present for most of the fighting.
Allied forces lost 87 ships, including 49 strategic cruisers, 1 heavy assault cruiser and 3 cruisers for a total of 50.41 billion ISK damage.
Imperium forces lost 129 ships, including but not limited to 42 battleships, 13 strategic cruisers, 9 battlecruisers and 6 cruisers for a total of 45.39 billion ISK damage
Salivan Harddin is a member of Reikoku, Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden